For some guys, a beard is man’s best friend. Cozy and furry, it’s the loyal sidekick that never leaves your side. But when that bond runs its course, you may be tempted to try the beardless life. Word of advice-- before breaking up with your better half, try spicing things up in the grooming department instead of demolishing your beard. To help you decide, here are 10 things to consider before shaving your beard.
1. You might become less attractive
When you abandon your beard, your appearance can take an unexpected turn. This change can be flattering, but other times, you realize, “yikes, I’m less handsome now.”
If your beard works to balance your facial features, shaving it will ruin the effect. For example, guys with long faces look better with a wide-set beard, while guys with round faces suit a narrow beard to appear slimmer. Or for someone with a less-defined jawline, a shapely beard can give the face more structure.
If you’re going to shave your beard, make sure you won’t lose a flattering optical illusion.
2. You’ll need all-new products
When leaving the beard cult behind, you’ll need a new skin care routine. Normally, your stash would consist of beard oils and balms, but now, you’ll need a skin serum, pimple treatment, razor-burn remedy and who knows what else.
As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Revamping your product stash means re-learning which ingredients work for your skin. This process costs time and money.
3. You can’t stroke an invisible beard
Your beard is a comfort blanket. It supplies endless hours of fidgeting stimulation. You may not even notice this habit, but guys often stroke their beard when thinking, relaxing or engaging in the crumb-picking ritual after meals.
If you found an odd sense of comfort in these acts, you’ll miss the sensation once its gone.
4. Shaving is a commitment
Shaving your beard is like entering a high-maintenance relationship. Everyday, this task demands a strict investment of your time, energy and dexterity.
Except, unlike your shaving commitment, at least a relationship rewards your hard work with a happy ending. So weigh the pros and cons accordingly. Make sure the daily effort of shaving is worth a hairless face.
5. A beard hides bad skin
Skin problems are common-- so is growing a beard to hide them. Without this handsome disguise, guys with less-than-impressive skin will expose their blackheads, rashes and bumps.
Still want to take the plunge? Consider this notion then: Normally, the only guys who bear the headache of maintaining a shaven face are corporate snobs, Calvin Klein models and polo-playing germaphobes. Most likely, all these guys have skincare regimens that could rival Patrick Bateman’s morning ritual-- and for the record, Patrick is not only a corporate snob, he’s a psychopath.
Do you belong to any of these categories?
6. You’ll have a babyface
In some cultures, a babyface is a beautiful type of masculinity. Soft, youthful and clean-cut, a hairless complexion hides all traces of our sex-driven, primate DNA. You’ll seem more controlled and civilized-- just like a neutered puppy. Is this your goal?
If you’re unsure, consider this mini history lesson: In the Greco-Roman times, baby-soft faces were a popular trend among men. Basically, they wanted to resemble baby Hercules.
If you want a softer look, but you’ll appear juvenile, it’s better to avoid over-pampering your baby-face. It needs that grizzly cushion.
7. You’ll no longer stand out
Shaven faces are a dime-a-dozen. Beards, on the other hand, stand out. With all the shapes, sizes and personal touches, beards offer a far richer range of self-expression. So even if you’re not the classic alpha, personalizing your grooming raises the bar of your image.
Ladies can’t help but notice the bearded guy; it’s a primal instinct. Or sometimes, it’s a beard’s mysterious artistry that’s captivating. After all, even a weird beard is more interesting than looking boring and shaven. We much rather be the guy sitting cool and carefree with the confident lines of a tapered beard and funky fade.
So before shaving away a part of your identity, weigh the loss of your style.
8. You’ll look less recognizable
Going from bearded to naked makes you less recognizable. Sure, the difference won’t be extreme (most likely), but the change can still feel foreign to others.
Friends and acquaintances must adjust to your unfamiliar and possibly less-awesome look. But then again,being less recognizable may have its perks. If you’ve been trying to dodge someone, shaving your face is kinder than ghosting.
9. Your photo ID won’t resemble you
Awkwaaaaard-- there are few things more embarrassing than being denied access in public places. When your photo ID no longer resembles you, there’s a possibility that doormen, airport security, cashiers and even pharmacists can reject you.
Welcome to the walk of shame. And yes, everyone will judge. You’re the odd miscreant who, for whatever freaky reason watchers will assume, is not allowed to proceed.
But you won’t get a new photo ID because there’s no way you’ll wait in the stuffy Chicken Coop of a government service station.
10. You’ll lose your mojo
A great beard creates an invisible forcefield of awesomeness.
Just consider Christian Bale and Leo DiCaprio who ditched the pretty-boy stigma of a shaven face for a sturdy beard. Both these actors became more successful after abandoning their polished looks. So clearly, there’s some power in the beard. But if you shave it, you may lose that mysterious coolness.
Still not convinced? Well, if you’re not inspired by Hollywood's gents, consider some more wayward role models— like the Westerosi crew. John Snow, Eddard Stark and Tormund all prove that burlier is better. We also can’t forget Khal Drogo’s beefy Sparrow beard that even Khaleesi couldn’t resist.
Be careful about getting trigger-happy with your trimmer. Impulsive shaves lead to regret and magnificent beards take time to grow. Weigh the decision carefully, maybe while twirling your beard, and the answer should be clear.
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